Glossary of Terms / Definitions

Bodywork – A generic term that applies to work on the body with the aim towards health and wellbeing. This includes such distinctive branches of expertise as massage, reflexology, energy work, movement therapies, and others. While massage and reflexology may be practiced during the same session, each is a separate and distinct form of bodywork.

  • Massage Therapy – There are more than 100 distinctive and recognized styles (modalities) of massage therapy. Popular massage modalities include Swedish massage, myofascial release, deep tissue, trigger point, craniosacral therapy, and so forth. Applications of massage include sports, relaxation, pregnancy, infant, and many more. (To learn more, read Therapeutic Reflexology, Chapter 3.)
  • Reflexology — Reflexology is a form of reflexive therapy. All reflexive therapies – such as reflexology, zone therapy, auriculotherapy, iridology, sclerology – are not a form of massage therapy. Foot and hand reflexology are popular forms reflexive therapies. Auriculotherapy (pressure applied to acupressure points in the ears) is another growing reflexive therapy discipline. (To learn more, read Therapeutic Reflexology, Chapters 3 and 4.)

Reflexology – “Reflexology is the scientific study of reflexes and the application of specific techniques that work reflexes in a particular way to produce a specific outcome. The chief outcome of reflexology is to relax the body in order to improve the flow of blood, nerve impulses, and bioelectrical energy throughout the body to allow the body to normalize, balance, and heal itself. Reflexologists do not diagnose, prescribe, treat, nor cure.” Source: Therapeutic Reflexology, p. 16.  To learn more, read Therapeutic Reflexology, Chapter 2.

Therapeutic Reflexology – A variety of advanced and specialized techniques work reflexes in the feet and hands to lessen and remove deposits, which promotes homeostasis. Time-proven reflexology techniques calm the nervous system, soothe emotions, rest hyper mental activity, and improve flexibility in the feet, legs, hands, and wrist.  Reflexology improves the flow of blood, nerve supply, lymph, and bio-energy throughout the body. People report feeling deep relaxation and rejuvenation during and following a session. In some countries, therapeutic reflexology is fully integrated into the healthcare system. Clinical reports funded by the National Institutes of Health and leading hospitals support the efficacy of reflexology. To learn more, read the clinical research reported in Therapeutic Reflexology.